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Author Archives: Michael Thomas

Lenovo Announces Three New Products

New Lenovo Workstations

Lenovo is at SOLIDWORKS World 2017 and is using the opportunity to announce three new Lenovo workstations (mobile)… the ThinkPad P51s, ThinkPad P51, and the ThinkPad P71.

ThinkPad P51s

“Engineered to deliver breakthrough levels of performance, reliability and long battery life… designed to meet customer demands for a powerful but portable machine “

The ThinkPad P51s features a new, “clean sheet” chassis. This unit is a slimmed down Ultrabook build, over a half-pound lighter than the previous generation. This the lightest and thinnest Thinkpad ever produced by Lenovo.

Dimensions (W x D x H) = (mm) 365.8 x 252.8 x 19.95 – 20.2 | (inche:s) 14.4 x 9.95 x 0.78 – 0.79 | Weight 4.3 lbs (1.95 kg) +

ThinkPad P51s Hero 05

Even with the low weight and slimmed down design, it provides a dual-battery solution for extended battery life. With the Power Bridge technology, you can hot-swap the rear battery.

Lenovo Thinkpad P51s Front

What’s in the box?

  • 7th generation Core i7 processors
  • NVIDIA Quadro M520M
  • 15.6″ 4K UHD IPS display (4k ultra high-resolution) or FHD IPS 250 nites (1920 x 1080)
  • DDR4 – 2133 SDRAM memory (up to 32GB)
  • 5400 rpm hard drive (up to 1TB) | NVMe PCle SSD (up to 1TB)
  • 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI, & 1 x USB-C (Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 technology)

ThinkPad P51

“Whether you’re designing a new building or working on the next supercar, the ThinkPad P51 will bring the power and portability you demand.”

The new ThinkPad P51 includes 4K IPS display with 100% color gamut and X-Rite Pantone color calibrator. These units are MIL-SPEC tested and offer a dual-fan cooling system to allow us to push these systems hard. The P51 offers 2400MHz DDR4 memory, the fastest memory available in a mobile workstation.

Lenovo Thinkpad P51 Hero

Dimensions (W x D x H) = (mm) : 377.4 x 252.3 x 24.5 – 25.9 | (inches) : 14.86″ x 9.93″ x 0.96″ – 1.02″ | Weight 5.6 lbs (2.5 kg)+

Lenovo Thinkpad P51 1

What’s in the box?

  • Intel Xeon E3-v6 Processors (for Mobile Workstations)
  • NVIDIA Quadro GPUs (up to M2200M)
  • 4K IPS display (with 100% color gamut) or FHD IPS 250 nits (1920 x 1080)
  • Integrated X-Rite Pantone color calibrator
  • 2400MHz DDR4 memory (up to 64GB)
  • Massive storage – up to 4TB total!
  • 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Mini DisplayPort, 1 x USB-C (Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 technology)

ThinkPad P71

“Lenovo’s first VR Ready mobile workstation, featuring brand new NVIDIA Pascal-based Quadro GPUs and full Oculus and HTC certifications.”

Lenovo Thinkpad P71 2

Like the P51, the ThinkPad P71 Lenovo workstations are MIL-SPEC tested and offer a dual-fan cooling system. The P71 offers 2400MHz DDR4 memory, the fastest memory available for a mobile workstation. With support for up to four storage devices, this unit provides massive storage for a portable device.

Dimensions (W x D x H) = (mm) : 416 x 275.5 x 29.9 – 31.5 | (inches) : 16.4″ x 10.8″ x 1.17″ – 1.2″ | Weight 7.6 lbs (3.4 kg) +

Lenovo Thinkpad P71 Hero05

What’s in the box?

  • Intel Xeon E3-v6 Processors (for Mobile Workstations)
  • NVIDIA Quadro GPUs (up to P5000M)
  • 4K IPS display (with 100% color gamut) or FHD IPS 300 nits (1920 x 1080)
  • Integrated X-Rite Pantone color calibrator
  • 2400MHz DDR4 memory (up to 64GB)
  • Massive storage – up to 4TB total!
  • 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Mini DisplayPort, 2 x USB-C (Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 technology)
  • NVIDIA’s VR-ready certification

“Content creators working with demanding VR workflows require the most robust and reliable performance possible,” says Bob Pette, vice president, Professional Visualization, NVIDIA. “Lenovo’s VR Ready ThinkPad P71 mobile workstation with Quadro Pascal-based GPUs for mobile workstations provides the performance, features and memory required for creating the most compelling VR experiences anywhere.”


The Lenovo ThinkPad P51s will be available in March, starting at US$1,049. The ThinkPad P51 and P71 will be available in April, starting at US$1,399 and US$1,849, respectively.

To learn more about these new products, visit

Adding Sheet Views to the Sheet Set

Sheet Views

Now that we know how to work with the Sheet Set Manager and add Sheets we’re going to dive in and explore how adding Sheet Views is accomplished. This is a continuation of our series taking a deep dive into AutoCAD Sheet Sets. If you’d like to start at the beginning, take a look at the table of contents.

The high-level overview of adding views…

  1. Add the file locations to the drawings containing the views
  2. Drag-and-drop model space views onto your Sheets
  3. AutoCAD attaches the drawing as an XREF, generates a Viewport, and sets the scale

Location, Location, Location

First, you need a drawing open and it doesn’t matter what it is, or if you intend to keep it. Now, you can add the file locations to the drawings that contain the views. Using the Model Views tab, double-click on Add New Location. Browse to and select the folder containing the drawings.


Expand the drawing for the list of available model space views.


To remove a location, right-click on it. From the menu select Remove Location.

Drag-and-Drop to Add Views

To add the view to your drawing, drag-and-drop from the Sheet Set Manager onto the Paper Space Layout. AutoCAD generates a preview to aid in the positioning and scaling. To adjust the scale, right-click, and pick the desired scale. The preview updates so that you can position the view properly. Left click to place the Sheet Views.

Sheet Sets Sheet Views

As the view is placed a view callout is automatically placed. [We’ll dive into building these labels in a future post.]

Let the Magic Happen

As the view is placed, its drawing is attached as an external reference (xref) and inserted into model space. A viewport is created at the extents of the view and scaled according to the scale you’ve selected.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-Xref Manager

Once placed, the viewport created is a standard AutoCAD viewport. This means you can use standard features like grips, Properties, and the scale list to make adjustments.

AutoCAD Sheet Set Viewports


Modifying the Scale List

Use SCALELISTEDIT to make changes to the available scales. These scales are available both during View placement from the Sheet Set Manager as well as when modifying an existing Viewport. This is something to consider saving within your template.

AutoCAD Edit Drawing Scales

Building Model Views

Using the VIEW command, create Model Views of the portions of the drawing you want to add as views to your Sheets.

AutoCAD View Manager

Start by clicking New and use the New View / Shot Properties dialog to define the new view. Specify the name and optionally a category. Categories are advantageous to group like views. The View type should be set Still.

AutoCAD New Model Views

Many of the options are only valuable when capturing 3D Views. Since you are creating views for a Sheet Set, the only important settings are the Boundary and saving the layer snapshot. Always leave the UCS as World, Live Section to <None>, the Visual style to Current or 2D Wireframe, and the Background as Default.

The Boundary can be either the Current display, if you like how you have zoomed into the drawing, or Define Window to pick the boundary of the view.

Enable Save layer snapshot with view to capture the current state of the layers. This includes the ON / OFF state, Freeze / THAW, LOCK, and properties like the layer color. When restoring the view, AutoCAD also restores the saved layer state.

When you click OK the view is created and is listed within the Model Views list.

Lights, Camera, Action!


Feature Image “view” by Gabriel White

A Sheet Set Deep Dive… Using the Sheet Set Manager

The Sheet Set Manager

Now that we know how to create new Sheet Sets, let’s look at working within the Sheet Set. The Sheet Set Manager is the key tool for working with Sheet Sets within AutoCAD. In fact, it is the only tool for interacting with your Sets. So it goes without saying that if you want to use Sheet Sets, you need to become intimate with the Sheet Set Manager.

The Sheet Set Manager is launched from the View tab (Palettes panel) or by typing sheetset at the commandline.

AutoCAD Sheet Set Manager Launch View Tab

This “Manager” is divided into three tabs, one for managing the sheets, another for managing the views, and the third for managing file locations. In this post, we’re going to explore the Sheet List tab, diving into working with the Sheets.

It’s a Palette

The first rule of using the Sheet Set Manager is realizing it is a palette. It behaves no different than any other palette in AutoCAD. This means it can be…

  1. Resized
  2. Set to Autohide
  3. Docked
  4. Anchored

Sheet Set Manager is a Palette

If you hover over a Subset or Sheet within the list a tooltip appears providing details about the item.

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Manager Sheet Properties

Using the Header

The second rule to working with your Sheet Sets is using the header tools. Within the header, you can Publish, Export, and Save Selections. These rely on the selection you’ve made within the palette.


The Drop Down within the header provides the means to create new sheet sets and open existing sheet sets. This additionally provides a list of recently accessed sheet sets, making it quick to open again.


Right-click is Where It’s At

Right-clicking within the Sheet Set Manager provides a context menu. The options presented are dependent on what you are right-clicking on.

At the top level, the menu provides options for working with the Sheet Set. This includes closing the active sheet set, accessing its properties, and resaving all sheets. When right-clicking on a Subset or Sheet you get similar options, but you are working with that specific sheet and/or subset.


Note the Import Layout as Sheet option which is used to import layouts from existing drawings. Resave All Sheets is a hidden gem of a feature in that it will save all sheets with unsaved changes.

Adding New Sheets

To add a new sheet, right-click within the Sheet Set Manager and select New Sheet. Where you right-click determines where the new sheet is added. For example, if you right-click on a Subset and select New Sheet, the new sheet is added to that Subset.

Using the New Sheet dialog you specify the sheet number and title. The File name defaults to the combined number & title, however, you can adjust it to be what you need it to be. Being able to specify the template is dependent on the Subset options.


Any sheet can be adjusted using Rename & Renumber. With this dialog, you adjust the sheet’s number and title. The Rename options allow you to specify whether the layout (drawing) is renamed to match the adjustments to the title and number.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-Rename Renumber-Sheet-Dialog

To move the sheet within the list just drag-and-drop it to the desired location.


Utilize the Subset Properties dialog to create a new Subset. Start by specifying the name and whether a new subfolder should be created (Create Folder Hierarchy) to store drawings (sheets). The location will default to a new subfolder within the Sheet Set Location.

By setting Prompt for Template to Yes you’ll be able to select the template when creating a new sheet within the subset. If Prompt for Template is set to No, new sheets are created with the specified template with no option to override.


Right-click on an existing subset and select Remove to delete it. You will be unable to remove the subset if it contains sheets.


What Else?

Utilize Insert Sheet List Table to insert a table listing all the sheets contained within the Sheet Set Manager. It will use the available Table Styles of the active drawing.




Live and In Action


With the new subsets and sheets created we can now start adding views. In the next part in the series, we will define new views and add them to the sheets within the Sheet Set.




Feature Image set by piotr mamnaimie

Creating New by Example Sheet Set

Creating New by Example Sheet Set

Welcome to part 3 of our deep-dive into AutoCAD Sheet Sets. In the last part, we explored creating new Sheet Sets to manage existing drawings. This is an excellent option obviously when you have drawings created outside a sheet set, yet you still want the options to manage them. This does limit the usefulness somewhat, as you are pulling together existing drawings which may or not be setup correctly to utilize the Sheet Set information to its fullest.

So, when you want to build a new Sheet Set, essentially starting the project .use the Example Sheet Set option. This uses the selected Sheet Set as the template to build the structure and default settings for the new sheet set. This does not copy any of the sheets from the existing Sheet Set, but once the new Set is created you can import layouts from any drawing.

Using the Wizard

Creating a new Sheet Set starts from the Sheet Set Manager. Using the drop-down select New Sheet Set…

AutoCAD-Sheet Set Manager-New Sheet Set

The first step of the wizard is selecting the Beginning” type. Wanting to create a new Sheet Set, not collecting existing drawings, select the An example sheet set option. Think of this as selecting the template for which the new set is based.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-New Example Sheet Set

The second step is selecting the desired Example Sheet Set. This can be from one of the provided Autodesk templates or by browsing and selecting any existing Sheet Set.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-New Sheet Set Example

The selected Example will set the default details and settings. Use the next step of the wizard to tweak and adjust the details (Name, Description, DST location) and properties. We’ll be exploring the properties in much more detail in upcoming posts.


When everything set you get one last chance to review the configuration. If satisfied, click Finish to generate your new Sheet Set.

AutoCAD Sheet Set New Confirm


Live and in Action


What’s Next? Using the Sheet Set Manager to be all it can be!




Feature Image Old Sheet Music Page by Renee

Creating New Sheet Sets (Collecting Existing Drawings)

Creating New Sheet Sets by Existing Drawings

Are you looking for project management tools within AutoCAD? Never fear, AutoCAD Sheet Sets are here! AutoCAD provides two methods for adding new Sheet Sets: Using an Example and Existing Drawings.

When you already have the drawings, there is little need to go through the rigmarole of defining the new set, building views, creating new sheets, adding the views to the sheets, etc, etc. Why would you? Especially considering you already have the sheets with the views!  However, just because you already have the drawings doesn’t mean you cannot use Sheet Sets to help manage these drawings.

The only catch is the drawings must be using Paper Space Layouts, AutoCAD will ignore drawings with no layouts.

Creating a New Sheet Set

The process starts from the Sheet Set Manager. From the main drop-down select New Sheet Set.  The first step is selecting the type. An example allows you to select an existing Sheet Set which is used as the template. When you have existing drawings and you don’t want to start from scratch, use the Existing drawings option.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-Manager-New Sheet Set

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set New Existing Drawings

Next, we set the Details. This includes the name, description, and location for the sheet set data (DST) file. The DST stores the details about the Sheet Set.

With the details set, select Sheet Set Properties to adjust the properties. This includes meta-data and also template type features including the View Lable blocks, Callout blocks, Model view, and other settings [We’ll be talking about these in much more depth in future articles].


Now, browse and select the folder or folders containing the drawings to add. Although all the drawings from the selected folders are added automatically you can deselect any drawing not required or wanted. The Import Options provide options to prefix the sheets and to create subsets automatically based on the folder structure.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set New Choose Layouts


The final step is reviewing the details before creating it. If satisfied with the settings click Finish.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-New Confirm


So the process of creating a new Sheet Set collecting existing drawings is very quick and easy. It provides a method to manage these existing drawings without requiring any changes to the drawings. Really, is there any reason why you shouldn’t be using Sheet Sets?



Feature Image “Sheet” by Jason Pratt.

The Five Reasons You Need to be Using AutoCAD Sheet Sets!

AutoCAD Sheet Sets

Autodesk introduced AutoCAD Sheet Sets a long time ago. In fact, it has been a feature within AutoCAD for 10-plus years. Sheet Sets provide project management type tools to manage a collection of drawings. They also provide a mechanism for multiple people to work on the same set of drawings, smartly, without tripping over each other.

This is our first in a series of posts looking at Sheet Sets. So we’ll start at the beginning with the key benefits of using Sheet Sets.

Project Organization

The Sheet Set Manager provides a project level view of the drawings, views, and other content that the sheet set manages.  Further to viewing the drawings you can organize the data into Subsets. Each Subset can be configured, meaning as you add a new drawing to the section it automatically uses the correct template. A Subset (and its sheets) can be quickly published or eTransitted.

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Manager Organization

  1. Subsets act as folders to group and organize the drawings contained within the Sheet Set.
  2. There is no limit to the number of drawings each Sheet Set can contain.
  3. Tabs provide separation between the different types of data the Sheet Set contains and manages.

As a palette, the Sheet Set Manager can be resized, docked, anchored, and set to auto-hide.  Only a limited set of buttons are available, most features are accessed via the right-click menu, making it very user intuitive.

Multi-User Support

The Sheet Set Manager lists properties about each sheet (drawing) contained within the Set. This includes file properties, a preview, AND who’s currently working on the drawing. Yes, this kicks ass, you know exactly who to bug about closing the drawing and giving you access!

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Manager Sheet Properties

Even a lock icon appears on the Sheet so that you can visually see that it is currently in use.

Smarter Blocks and Callouts

More than just tying blocks and attributes to properties within the drawing, with Sheet Sets you can access Sheet Set level property information. This includes the sheet set properties, the sheet number, the view number, and the number of pages. As the Sheet Set changes, so does the associative information.

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Smart Callouts

Publish & Sharing

Use the Sheet Set Manager to quickly publish the Sheet Set, Subset, or a selection of drawings. This includes publishing to a plotter, to DWF, and to PDF. I love the AutoCAD Publish command, and this is based on it. However, this significantly streamlines the process as there is no browsing for drawings!

AutoCAD-Sheet Sets Manager Publish


Use the Sheet Set Manager to quickly archive the project. Relying on the pack-and-go features of eTransmit, Archiving collects all drawings and related information of the Sheet Set and quickly saves to the location you desire.

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Archive

See it in action!

So hopefully this wets your palate to learn more about Sheet Sets. As mentioned earlier, this is only the first in the series, so make sure to check out the others. Or are you ready fo

Or are you ready for the next one? Take a look at creating new Sheet Sets by collecting existing drawings.




Feature Image Piano Sheets by włodi

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